Authors In The Spotlight


Book Title: FIRELIGHT


Category: Historical Romance

Description:

Miranda Ellis' supernatural gift forces her to marry the disfigured Lord Benjamin archer after her powers destroy her family's fortune. Plagued with his own curse, Benjamin must face his own demons when accused of a series of murders. Now, Miranda must navigate the dark world of magic in order to save the soul of the man she loves. 

 

Author Spotlight: Kristen Callihan

Dear Reader,

It is no secret that my novel Firelight is a retelling of the classic fairytale, Beauty and The Beast. However, when I started hammering out the early scenes, I knew that my hero Lord Benjamin Archer would not be the typical beast in which his disfigurement is front and center for all to see. On the contrary, it is a mystery, hidden behind masks and ferociously guarded by his innate sense of self-preservation.

But this begged the question, if my heroine Miranda Ellis — and thus the reader — never sees what he looks like, how will he be desirable to her? After all, in most romances, the hero is rather a feast to the eyes — or at least he is to the heroine.

Then I realized that this is the driving force behind any beauty-falling-for-the-beast story. The heroine must fall in love with the man inside. And isn’t that the way of true love, after all? So then I simply had to let the inner Archer shine. Not that he was cooperative! Here was a man who’d been shunned and rejected by society for years, a dark lord whom the ton suspects is a killer. He’s built his walls up high and thick.

And yet, in time, Miranda sees him for what he truly is: strong, fiercely brave, yet possessing a vulnerability that he hides behind a razor-sharp wit. No matter what occurs, Archer will sacrifice his life, his very soul, to protect the woman he loves. What woman could resist that?

Miranda certainly cannot. Archer is both a mystery to be solved and a man who will only be healed by love and trust. I do hope you will curl up with Firelight and join Miranda in her journey to discover the man behind the mask. Should you enjoy Firelight, don’t miss the rest of the Darkest London series, with "Ember", a prequel to Firelight coming out this month, and later, Moonglow and Winterblaze, which feature more stories about the Ellis sisters. 

- Kristen Callihan

 

Excerpt

Miranda put the unpleasantness of murder out of her mind. She would enjoy herself with Archer, if not for her sake, then for his. And surprisingly, they did enjoy the day. The museum was enormous; its collection of wonders vast.

When the hour grew late and most patrons made for home, Archer slipped an obscene amount of money to the guard to allow them to stroll the upper floors uninterrupted. They stopped to study Greek sculptures in one of the upper galleries, and she turned to him, intent upon offering her gratitude.

"Why haven't you left me?" Archer interrupted, scattering her thoughts.

"What do you mean?" But she knew. Her throat went dry and sore. How could she tell him, when she hadn't truly admitted it to herself?

He would not look at her as he gestured toward the stairs where the sound of patrons leaving the museum drifted up. "All of them think I am a killer."

He ran a finger along the balustrade at his side, watching the movement. "Morbid fascination compels society to tolerate me. But you..." Archer lifted his head, yet would not turn to face her. "Why haven't you left? Why do you defend me? I...I cannot account for it."

"You cannot account for a person coming to your defense when it is needed?"

"No. Never."

His quiet conviction made her ache.

"I told you, Archer, I will not condemn you based on your appearance alone."

His stillness seemed to affect the air around him, turning their world quiet. "Come now, Miranda. You heard all that Inspector Lane had to say."

Caught, Miranda's breath left in a sharp puff, but he went on.
 "Sir Percival called my name moments before he was murdered. Another servant saw someone dressed like me leaving the grounds. All very damning. Why did you not leave then?"

"You have given me your word, Archer, and I will believe it." It was a true answer. But not the whole truth. "I will not run from you."

Cool quiet surrounded them, highlighting the soft rush of their mingled breathing. Slow as Sunday, his hand lifted, and a wash of heat flowed over her. But his hand moved to the hard mask at his face. The mask came off with a small creak and a burst of Archer's freed breath. Light hit his features, and Miranda froze. 

 

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